Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University Archives
Georgiana Rose Simpson was the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in the United States. Her academic career started when Simpson enrolled at the University of Chicago in 1907, and received a bachelor of arts degree in German in 1911. She later went on to complete her master’s degree in German in 1920. But that wasn’t enough for Simpson, at age 55 while working and teaching High School literature she completed her dissertation and received her PHD in German in 1921. Simpson and her achievements helped pave the way for young scholars later in history during the civil rights movement.
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